The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) youth president, Phenyo Segokgo has admitted that he has been missing in action in the Tlokweng constituency by-election campaign.
Segokgo, who is also the chairperson of South East District Council, has never been seen with any UDC campaign teams since the announcement of the candidate, who also happens to be his cousin Kenneth Segokgo. Kenneth is a member of the Botswana National Front, whilst Phenyo is a member of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD).
Immediately after the passing on of Tlokweng MP Same Bathobakae, there were intensified reports that Phenyo was interested in the Parliamentary seat, and was ready to relinquish his council duties. He has since denied the reports.
“Of course we had misunderstandings in the area, which at some point made me to sit back from the campaigns. Some sections within UDC did not want me in the campaign because they heard that some people were asking me to contest for the post, something that I refused,” Phenyo said.
“I could not force myself to work with people when they had issues with me. But we managed to resolve them after the intervention of party elders,” he said.
Segokgo said he was still going to find ways of helping in the campaign because of the love for the party and being related to the candidate.
He continued: “We had a reconciliation meeting on Tuesday as BMD councillors with our party secretary general Gilbert Mangole.
He was concerned that we have not been seen in the campaign, but we raised our complaints, which were ultimately addressed.
All the Tlokweng
Segokgo said he was not the only councillor who had some complaints as others expressed their concerns during the meeting.
He added that his family also intervened in the matter.
Meanwhile, Segokgo is also facing accusations of being absent from BMD youth activities, something he has vehemently dismissed.
“I have told my party members to inform me about activities, especially that need me well in time because I am also busy with council activities. I even declared that I will not be contesting because my council schedule is tight, but I am willing to serve in other positions that the party might assign me to,” he said.
Segokgo said he has been absent in the party activities especially events that the youth are supposed to lead. The BMD Youth League is going for its elective congress in April. Segokgo said his committee will meet soon to discuss preparations for the congress.
Kenneth will battle it out with the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) candidate, Elijah Katse who beat Olebile Gaborone in the 2013 primaries, only to be disqualified from contesting in the general elections by the BDP top brass who cited irregularities in his victory.
The late Bathobakae of the BNF beat Olebile Gaborone by 6,442 votes to 3,867 in the 2014 general elections.
The Botswana Congress Party garnered 1,119 votes. Bathobakae died in November 2016.